One year in, there are still conflicting sentiments from the global workforce regarding the EU General Data Protection Regulation – specifically, whether the regulation has been effective.
Only 39% of respondents in a survey of 3,000 professionals in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific feel their personal data is better protected since GDPR took effect. Just over a third said data protection seemed the same, while a fifth admitted to being unsure of its impact.
Notably, a small but still significant number of respondents (6%) actually believe their personal data is less protected than it was prior to GDPR. The reason for this concern is not cited in the Snow Software report. Some experts have speculated that the web has become so polluted with consent-seeking pop-ups since GDPR kicked into gear that consumers dismiss the warnings without even reading them.
The Snow report seems to support this hypothesis. 74% of global respondents noted an increase in pop-ups or opt-ins requesting consent for the use of personal information, with 19% of those people saying it hurts their productivity and 32% saying they are increasingly annoyed by them. It has been well documented that people will often favor convenience over security, indicating that the fears shared by those 6% are founded.
Other findings include:
- 57% of global workers noticed stricter policies regarding the use of technology or customer data as a result of GDPR
- In Europe, 70% of respondents reported stricter policies, indicating that GDPR had a considerably bigger impact in the EU
- At medium-sized businesses with 100 to 1,000 employees, 65% of workers noticed policy changes
- 49% said they either have seen an increase or no change in the amount of spam they receive
- 74% believe the technology industry still needs more regulations
The study also indicates that the mixed response around the GDPR likely reflects the difficulty that organizations still face in complying with the law, as well as the complexity of educating the public on data regulations.